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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

DNA mutations associated with the human butyrylcholinesterase J-variant.

The J-variant of human serum butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) causes both an approximately two-thirds reduction of circulating enzyme molecules and a corresponding decrease in the level of BChE activity present in serum. Since the level of serum BChE activity and the duration of succinylcholine apnea are inversely correlated, this marked decrease in activity makes individuals with the J-variant more susceptible than usual subjects to prolonged apnea from succinylcholine. We reinvestigated the same family in which Garry et al. identified the J-variant phenotype. The atypical, fluoride, and K-variant mutations were also identified in members of the 47-person pedigree. DNA amplification by PCR, followed by direct sequencing of the amplified DNA, led to the finding that the J-variant phenotype of human serum BChE was associated with two DNA point mutations in the coding region. One of these was the mutation previously identified with the K-variant phenotype (GCA----ACA; Ala539----Thr). The other was an adenine-to-thymine transversion at nucleotide 1490, which changed amino acid 497 from glutamic acid to valine (GAA----GTA; Glu497----Val). This latter point mutation was named the J-variant mutation (formal name BCHE*497V). The J-variant mutation has not been identified without the K-variant mutation. The J-variant mutation created an RsaI-enzyme RFLP. Two additional point mutations, located in the noncoding regions of the gene, were also found to be linked with the J-variant and K-variant point mutations on the same allele. These noncoding polymorphic mutations had previously been found linked to the atypical and K-variant point mutations. A summary table shows dibucaine, fluoride, and Hoffmann-La Roche compound Ro 2-0683 inhibition numbers for 119 samples whose DNA has been sequenced. Eighteen BChE genotypes are represented.[1]


  1. DNA mutations associated with the human butyrylcholinesterase J-variant. Bartels, C.F., James, K., La Du, B.N. Am. J. Hum. Genet. (1992) [Pubmed]
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